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Sireen El Zaatari

Becaria del Proyecto Europeo Synthesys con el Prof. Antonio Rosas

Microwear Texture Analysis and the Diet of Paleolithic Hominins

Sala de Juntas de Palobiología Pinar, 25 914111328 ext 1117

Conventional methods of dental microwear analyses have proven to be very useful for the dietary reconstructions of various species. Yet, new advances in the field Of dental microwear are expanding even further the potential of these techniques. Microwear texture analysis is a new automated and repeatable approach to The study of dental microwear, where the scanning confocal profilometry Replaces the scanning electron microscopy and scale-sensitive fractal analysis is introduced as a tool for 3-D analysis of microwear features. Studies employing this technique for the analysis of occlusal molar microwear Patterns of various extant and extinct species, including hominins, have attested to its efficiency in providing insights into the dietary habits of these taxa. Specifically, the application of this technique to a large number of Paleolithic hominins from their wide temporal and geographic Ranges has shed light on behavioral aspects that distinguish Upper Paleolithic Modern humans from their predecessors, i.e., the Neandertals and Pre-Neandertals, In western Eurasia. The major results of the occlusal molar microwear texture analyses reveal differences in the patterns of dietary adaptations of these hominins: whereas the Neandertals adapted to changing paleoecological Conditions by altering their diets, Upper Paleolithic humans altered their technologies to free themselves from such environmental constraints and obtain access to preferred food resources